Cape Town - Would you do business with yourself?
According to performance consultant Femi Adebanji this is one of the most important questions any business owner or manager should ask himself.
"It is about how to make your business stand out. It is not about the sales or about the service, but about what brand experience customers get when they engage with you," he said at a gathering of the SA Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) in Cape Town on Tuesday.
"It is about how to make the ordinary spectacular and to stand out from the competition. We often focus on the product and not on the process. A product is a product and therefore, it is about the experience related to it."
He explained that the business world has changed rapidly and redefined the way business is done. It is now much more complex and competitive and there is only one "boss", namely the customer who can vote with his feet by spending money elsewhere.
"Ask what it is about your business that keeps customers coming back to you. Remember, they have a lot more choices these days. What is the brand experience you promise?" asked Adebanji.
According to an advertising report done by global information and measurement company Nielsen in 58 countries, 84% of respondents said word of mouth recommendations from people they trust were the most important to them. About 1% indicated that the service experiences they have had actually met their expectations.
About 89% indicated that they would go to a competitor because of a bad experience and 86% said they are willing to pay for good service.
"The creation of great value is to elevate a customer's experience and have a correlation between the service experience and performance. The 21st century consumer expects more and demands more," explained Adebanji.
"Make sure what you deliver matches their expectation. Consumers want to have the sizzle, not just the steak. They want to bond with the brand. Take time to find out how to make their experience unforgettable."
It is important to connect with your customer emotionally and to exceed their expectations. If customers are treated property they become the best brand ambassadors.
"Always deliver more and create a "wow" experience at each touch point of your brand. Make them feel that engaging with your brand is the best experience they have ever had," he said.
"What you know is not as important as what you do with what you know. Focus on your vision and not on the challenges. Ask what action you can take now to get you one step closer to your dream."
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